The loss of a job, changes in family situations, purposeful action or any other number of reasons may contribute to people falling behind on their child support. Regardless of the reasons why, Illinois parents face serious consequences for child support nonpayment, including the possibility of jail time. Understanding the state’s enforcement options may help you to protect yourself if you have been ordered to pay child support.
When they are issued by a judge, child support awards are considered court orders. Therefore, state law provides that if you do not comply with the stipulations of your child support order, you may be found in contempt of the court.
Among other penalties that may be levied, you may be sentenced to periodic imprisonment if you are found guilty of contempt. The term of your sentence cannot exceed six months and must allow for a work release. This means that you would be released for specified periods of time in order to go to work or, if you are self-employed, to otherwise conduct business. Depending on the circumstances, rather than sentencing you to jail, the court may instead choose to place you on probation.
It is important for you to keep in mind that the court may choose to garnish all or part of your earnings while on a work release. These funds may be paid to the court clerk or to the custodial parent for the support of your child.
This post is intended only as general information to educate and should not be considered legal advice.